2011...Let Us Game

2011 has started quite odd for me. 

 First off I was snowed in for two days in South Eastern Tennessee, I decide what I need to do is download a bunch of Xbox Live and PSN games, and then I finish that off by grabbing random games off the shelf hoping to entertain my wife and I.

The hardest thing was the last part.   My wife, God bless her, wants to be part of my gaming experiences.   Typically, she enjoys setting back and watching me play something while asking questions about the story or typical “why questions” about the game design.   During the break I finished Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (PS3) and the only thing that matched her enthusiasm for the story was her amusement in the screen tearing taking place in nearly every session of game play.  

Following that I introduced her to the Sly Cooper games and we went through to platinum in a few hours of play all the while I was stunned how well the game overall still holds up.   Playing through those levels I could really see where inFAMOUS evolved from the series.   We have yet to get into Sly Cooper 2, and with all the great titles coming out I doubt it will be anytime soon.

The weeks following were mired in bursts of Need Speed Hot Pursuit, Fable 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and various downloadable titles.

Need For Speed Hot Pursuit (Ps3)

I have been done with the franchise since Most Wanted on the 360.   Honestly, I thought the series was deserving of its break, but after getting this game I was surprised how addicting it can be.   In reality, I don’t think this game has as much charm if you don’t take up the social networking aspects so I suggest either friending people online from games you’ve played or give a shot out to some of the Bomb community.   Personally, I enjoy the game most by jumping into the recommendations trying your best to top friend’s scores.  Also, the online is phenomenal when you take the time to play through the modes.

Fable 3 (360)

“Remember all those great things we had in Fable 3?   Screw it, let’s just go get a couple of pints and see what happens.”   This is how I imagine the first day of Fable 3 development went.   The original Fable was overhyped and too simple for me to enjoy, but when Fable 2 came out I genuinely thought they were on the right track and the game was pretty fun.   Fable 3 takes about ten steps back without making any progress whatsoever.   To give Lionhead Studios credit they did try something new with the menu system, but I seriously doubt that was so taxing and intuitive that it absorbed all their development time.   This game feels as if it’s not even half done, but maybe a quarter done with a few weeks of polish time to try and make it seem complete.   My wife enjoyed the voice acting mostly, but she did like a few of the side quests as well.   We threw money down on the DLC and the “industrial knight” armor (aka, this our steam punk armor which basically looks like the steam punk Iron Man MARVEL had on an alternate cover a while back) but none of it really felt…meaty?   The DLC missions took us all of an hour, at most, to complete.   The armor is cool, so I guess it achieved its desired effect.   I won’t rail on the game too much as everything that needed to be said has been in the boards and podcasts, but I honestly think this game isn’t even fun; it’s a role playing game where every option given, in their limited capacity, are all things you wouldn’t want to do.   Screw this game and screw Lionhead Studios.   This game proves they need to take some time off and make a game worth playing.

Fallout: New Vegas (Ps3)

Immediately starting out in this game I had a feeling that I wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as I did Fallout 3.   When you start Fallout 3 you essentially have carte blanche to go where you want (given you have the gear to handle whatever situations arise) but in New Vegas you really have limited options in comparison.   I came across many a zone and situation where no matter what tactics I devised, there was a 0% outcome of success.   This isn’t bad and this absolutely does not make the game bad, but it really did hamper my enjoyment of the game.   In Fallout 3 I would wander for hours coming across enjoyable and thrilling storylines, or sometime hilarious and absurd, and the only thing standing in the way of me completing my goal would be “do you know what to do”?   True, the combat was more difficult until you get to around level 12-15, but you could still mostly handle anything coming at you.   Not the case in New Vegas and that is disappointing.  

I think the voice work is on par, if not better, but so far I haven’t come across any characters that I enjoy but I’ve only played maybe 4 or 5 hours.   I wish I had more to do with Ghost at the NCR caravan outpost as she seemed pretty cool.   I can’t say I enjoy the faction rep stuff when I am still getting hit with seemingly pointless and unaccountable karma points.  

Hopefully I can get more into this game as it is by no means “bad”, but I do think it’s initial impression is less impressive than Fallout 3’s.   Also, I am ready to get out of Fallout and into Elder Scrolls.   I have toyed with playing some more Oblivion as its been a few years since I’ve bothered with my assassin/thief.

Misc Downloadable Stuff

Over the first few weeks of 2011 this Simmons’ household went on a little purchasing spree online.   The titles that I remember us buying are: Raskulls, World of Keflings, Trials HD, IloMilo, Rock Band Free DLC and the Johnny Cash 01 pack, Dead Rising Case West, and X-Men arcade.   We also got some stuff on the Ps3, but I can’t remember what it is right now.   Raskulls is interesting and the difficulty seems to ramp up pretty quick, World of Keflings…haven’t touch, Trials haven’t touched, IloMilo is cute and I’m almost through world 2 I think, the Rock Band DLC is obviously amazing, Dead Rising Case West is still absurd DR gameplay with a few decent tweaks but no real effort, and X-Men arcade is basically a spruced up ROM that I’ve had on MAME for years.  

In Closing

I still have too many games to play and that’s no one’s fault but my own.   With Little Big Planet 2 Special Edition, Mass Effect 2 (PS3), and Dead Space 2 Special Edition over the next two weeks I have plenty of gaming to do.   I still don’t want to forget anything like Fallout but it happens…there will be an off period that hopefully I can get back on track.  

Question: I have noticed more and more screen tearing in games recently.   I know that it’s because the lack of V-SYNC, but can it also be caused by a faulty Ps3?   Just curious…Well, I know have to use the restroom so that means I will be catching up on more reading in Altered Carbon, which is an AMAZING book.   Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear any comments any of you have.   Happy, belated, New Year and have B4TM4N.